Lacson to file reso to convene Senate into 'con-ass'

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 11 2018 04:12 PM | Updated as of May 09 2019 05:58 PM

Senator Panfilo Lacson. File photo

MANILA (UPDATED) - Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday said he will file a resolution that will require the Senate to convene as a constituent assembly separate from the House of Representatives.

Lacson said the resolution aims to ensure a systematic evaluation of the 1987 Constitution and also guarantee that the Senate will not be rendered "irrelevant" when it comes to making changes in the charter.

“Papayag ba yung Senado na papasok kami sa isang joint session with the lower House, knowing na 24 lang kaming mga senador… Ano pang saysay ng Senado? Wala kaming boses dun, ibig sabihin tatango na lang kami, iiling," he said.

(Will the Senate agree to a joint session with the lower House knowing that there are only 24 senators? What purpose will the Senate have? We will have no voice there. It means we will just nod or shake our heads.)

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Lacson's proposal comes amid calls for both houses of Congress to form a constituent assembly and eventually vote jointly on amendments to the charter.

Doing so, he said, will only "dilute" the voice of senators.

The senator argued that by convening the Senate as a constituent assembly, people can directly hear each senator's thoughts on provisions in the charter.

Under Lacson’s resolution, each amendment will also require ¾ vote of the existing 23-man Senate.

Earlier this month, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he would like the House and Senate to convene as a constituent assembly to discuss charter change and then form technical working groups thereafter.

Lacson said he hopes the Supreme Court could provide a “declaratory relief” on concerns over whether the House and the Senate should vote jointly or separately on charter change.